About Encouragement for Today

Proverbs 31 Ministries is a non-denominational, non-profit Christian ministry that seeks to lead women into a personal relationship with Christ. With Proverbs 31:10-31 as a guide, Proverbs 31 Ministries reaches women right in the middle of their busy day through free daily devotions, radio program, speaking events, conferences, monthly magazine, resources, online communities, and Gather and Grow groups. We are real women offering real-life solutions to women who are striving to maintain life’s balance, in spite of today’s hectic pace and cultural pull away from godly principles. Wherever a woman may be on her spiritual journey, Proverbs 31 Ministries exists to be a trusted friend who takes her by the hand and walks by her side, leading her one step closer to the heart of God.

When You’re Feeling Weak - Encouragement for Today - November 15, 2017

Tiffany Smiling

November 15, 2017
When You’re Feeling Weak
TIFFANY SMILING

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’” 2 Corinthians 12:9a (NIV)

The light from the nurse’s fluorescent flashlight assaulted my eyes. I didn’t know quite what to expect, but still I was hopeful. The faint dripping of IV fluids and the scent of dried blood on my shaved scalp were the first things I noticed as I awoke in the chilly hospital room.

"Tiffany, can you move your right leg for me?" the nurse asked.

I lifted my right leg. Farthest from my head, it was the body part that hurt the least.

"Great. Can you lift your left leg?”

I tried, but my leg wouldn’t cooperate. Is it tangled up under the sheets? I wondered.

"Tiffany, can you lift your right arm?" the nurse asked, while pointing to my right arm.

I lifted my arm dutifully.

"And your left arm?”

My left arm didn’t move. I tried to lift it but couldn’t.

Dazed and a bit confused, I followed the nurse’s cue and attempted to sit up for the first time since surgery. Although my brain signaled my limbs to rise up, I was unable to will my body to move. Why is my body refusing to respond?

Seconds later, I would learn devastating, life-altering news …

I had suffered a stroke.

I was a 16-year-old girl who’d been fighting a 6-year battle against a life-threatening brain tumor. I expected that upon awakening from surgery to remove the tumor, my life would resume back to normal. But it didn’t turn out that way. Instead, my body was paralyzed — my speech slurred, my face drooping.

My world … shattered.

What are we supposed to do when our circumstances look different than the hopeful promises God has given us?

Imagine. … You’re living the good life. Sure, it’s messy at times, but you can still see God and feel His blessings in your career, marriage or tight-knit family. Then, one day, life throws you a major curveball. A loss. A broken heart. A financial whirlwind. A weight that’s heavier than you feel capable to bear.

For me, when hard times come, my weaknesses bubble to the surface. At times I wrestle with believing God for the miracle. I struggle to see His goodness in the bad. I am vulnerable. I try to remain hopeful, but I fail. It’s in these moments when I’m reminded of how weak I truly am.

The truth is this: We all have weaknesses, and God knows each one of them. It’s no surprise to Him when our futures appear uncertain, our relationships are shaken, or the fulfillment of His promises have yet to come to pass in our lives.

Could God miraculously answer our prayers overnight if He wanted to? Yes, of course!

But there’s a greater lesson God is teaching us in times of uncertainty: Our weaknesses display His strength.

Today’s key verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9a tells us our weakness is the place where we discover Christ’s strength. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”

Our doubts, insecurities and deficiencies are where Christ’s power is perfected in our lives.

When the void in our hearts leaves us desperate for answers, in our vulnerability we run to the Lord. And He takes us — broken and discouraged — by the hand, then leads us to a deeper level of trust in Him. A trust that chooses to see His strength instead of our weakness.

Even when the report says all hope is lost.

He is faithful.

Even when we feel betrayed by those we love the most.

He is consistent.

Even when we are exhausted and feel like a failure.

He will never fail us.

Even when years have passed, and victory has yet to be declared.

His promises are true.

Have the storms of your own life left you doubting the goodness of God today?

Through today’s verse, you can take comfort knowing God is at work in your life. He has not forgotten you but is perfecting your faith in Him. And day by day, storm by storm, our heavenly Father is proving His grace is sufficient, and His power is made perfect in all our weaknesses.

Dear Lord, let my weakness display Your strength. As I depend on Your strength and not my own, grow my heart closer to You each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Hebrews 12:2a, “Let us keep looking to Jesus. Our faith comes from Him and He is the One Who makes it perfect.” (NLV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
In her newly released book, Your Dream. God’s Plan., Tiffany Smiling invites you to trade in the broken pieces of your life for the greater purpose God has for you. The Lord created you with a detailed plan in mind. He longs to use every piece of your story for His glory! Pick up a copy of the book HERE.

CONNECT:
You can learn more about Tiffany’s miraculous story on her website.

Enter to WIN a copy of Your Dream. God's Plan. by Tiffany Smiling. In celebration of this book, Barbour Publishers is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one by Monday, November 20, 2017.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Today, write down the areas in your life where you weakest. Spend time offering God these vulnerabilities, and ask Him for His strength.

© 2017 by Tiffany Smiling. All rights reserved.

>Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Barbour Publishing for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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